About Our Program

The Counseling Psychology program at UNC has been in existence since 1984. It became accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) in 1995 as a PsyD program.  In 2009, the curriculum was modified and now we offer only the PhD in Counseling Psychology.  The PhD Counseling Psychology program has been accredited by APA since January 15, 2010. For more information about APA accreditation, contact the American Psychological Association’s Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation at 750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242.  By phone at (202) 336-5979 or on the web at http://www.apa.org/ed/accreditation/.

The Counseling Psychology (PhD) program adheres to the Scientist-Practitioner model of training.  The emphasis is on both practitioner/clinical skills (about 60%) and science (about 40%).  Our program is designed for persons interested in careers as psychologists working in independent practice, mental health agencies, health care facilities and academic institutions.  While most of our graduates obtain jobs in applied areas, some have become college professors.  Our program strives to train psychologists who can independently assess, diagnose and treat a wide spectrum of mental health and adjustment concerns, in a variety of settings, utilizing at least three core treatment modalities: Individual, Group, and Couples & Family Therapies. 

In addition to completing clinical practica in these three core treatment modalities, you will also complete a practicum in Clinical Supervision of individual therapy.  Doctoral students are supervised by licensed psychologists for most of their clinical practica experiences and receive live supervision from behind a one-way mirror.  Students receive feedback as soon as they are finished with their sessions, and ongoing feedback is dubbed onto the session recording.  Students also learn how to administer, score and interpret a wide variety of psychological assessment instruments including the MMPI-2, Rorschach, and Wechsler’s tests.  Clinical practica experiences in psychological assessment are also a required part of students’ training.

Our program believes that it is important for our students to become contributors to and informed consumers of psychological research.  Consequently all students complete a rigorous statistics sequence that involves learning about both quantitative and qualitative methodologies.  Students participate in program evaluation research projects and individual research apprenticeships.  Students are required to present at the university’s Counseling Psychology Research Day and the Statistics and Research Methods Research Evening.  Students are encouraged to make professional presentations and author publications while in the program, and most students do (please look at our newsletters for a sampling).  Our research training culminates with the doctoral dissertation, which includes a manuscript of the research, ready for publication.

At UNC you will enter an academic environment that demonstrates respect for and understanding of cultural and individual diversity.